Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Canterbury Museum quake claim

Source: Canterbury Museum.

Amanda Cropp, Settlement of massive quake claim will lead to temporary museum closure, stuff.co.nz

Canterbury Museum aims to settle its massive earthquake insurance claim by mid year, but the victory will be bitter sweet.

Museum director Anthony Wright said the long-awaited repair and revamp of museum buildings would cost an estimated $168 million, and closure was inevitable while the work was done.

“The work is of a scale that it will involve closure for the protection of the collection. We’d have to move the collection off site.

“The buildings are safe to be open but they’re riddled with micro-cracks and leak every time it rains.”

“A lot of the public think the museum is just fine, but behind the scenes we’re like ducks on a pond and the feet are going 900 miles an hour.”

Wright said timing of repairs hinged on the outcome of on-going insurance negotiations, which he hoped to have concluded by the end of June.

He did not know when any closure would start, or how long it would last.

The museum expected to attract 700,000 visitors this year, including more than 80 per cent of international holiday makers coming to Christchurch.

For that reason Wright was keen to set up a temporary exhibit in the city to fill the gap, as well as continuing to run the popular stand alone Quake City exhibit.

“We’ve chosen to struggle on to provide a public service, but the day of reckoning will come.

“We’ll do our best to open in double quick time so citizens have somewhere to come. We don’t want to leave our city bereft of its most visited local attraction in terms of a building heritage site.”

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